Since winning and performance on the court is the ultimate elixir, most Brooklyn Nets fans have forgotten about point guard Kyrie Irving’s self-approved sabbatical away from the team earlier in the season, during which he violated league health and safety protocols by attending a birthday occasion for two family members.
It remains to be seen what provoked Irving’s leave of absence, but we like to think it was more involved than just a family catch-up. The 28-year-old has been a pioneer when it comes to speaking out against social and systemic injustices, so many pundits and fans speculated whether the political unrest stemming from the storming of the Capitol last month spurred his departure.
Whatever the case, Irving has since returned to the Nets and he has predictably let his play do the talking in terms of atoning for his failure to inform the coaching staff of his moratorium, averaging 28.3 points and 5.7 assists per game to go with ridiculous .534/.442/918 shooting splits.
Those numbers would lead you to believe that Irving is back to being fully focused on basketball. However, his latest Instagram post, which really shed a powerful light on some of this country’s most damning systemic issues, proves the former No. 1 overall pick still has a lot on his mind.
Nets point guard Kyrie Irving posted a powerful reminder on Instagram
It’s worth noting that we aren’t bracing Nets fans for another potential Irving disappearance, because he’s genuinely looked to be enjoying himself over the last few weeks. However, you simply can’t rule it out, given how responsible the six-time All-Star always feels when it comes to promoting and inciting change on a national scale.
Not that it’s a bad thing, especially considering the topics that hit close to home for him, but history has proven that Irving’s mindset won’t always be centered on basketball, and this Instagram post confirms that there are far more important things going on in the world than winning games against a team Brooklyn could end up meeting in the playoffs down the road.
Speaking of which, it’s looking like Irving, who missed the Nets’ thrilling second half comeback victory over Phoenix with back tightness a few nights ago, is probable for Thursday night’s box office showdown against former teammate LeBron James and the Lakers.
The last thing we want to do by sharing Irving’s post is sound the alarms of Nets fans. However, all we ask is that they don’t forget that the nine-year veteran has plenty going on beyond the walls of the game of basketball. He views the ongoing civil unrest on a similar wavelength in terms of importance, so just keep that in mind as the season moves forward and other potentially earth-shattering political storylines come to light.